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Contesting property: urban commons, statecraft and the ‘tyranny’ of liberalism in Lebanon

Stefanelli, Alice

Contesting property: urban commons, statecraft and the ‘tyranny’ of liberalism in Lebanon Thumbnail


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Abstract

As heterogeneous forms of commodification threaten the survival of the urban commons worldwide, in Beirut a group of residents and professionals has resorted to civic advocacy to keep the beach of Dalieh of Raouche accessible, including calling on public authority to intervene. Combining Polanyian analysis and recent developments in the anthropology of politics and the state, civic advocacy is recast here as a case of ‘grassroots’ statecraft, adapted to, as well as shaped by, the logics and discourses of late capitalism that it seeks to undo. As such, countermovements are reconceptualised here as not only defensive, but also offensive and explicitly generative of new political projects and modes of governance. At the same time, the article pushes the argument further to suggest that ‘grassroots’ statecraft in the context of the protection of the commons is inherently multivocal, and that calls for, and rejection of, state intervention may be contained at once within this countermovement, forced to coexist by the constraints posed by the neoliberal political-economic system it confronts.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 25, 2022
Online Publication Date Mar 23, 2023
Publication Date 2023-06
Deposit Date Sep 27, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 23, 2023
Journal Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Print ISSN 1359-0987
Electronic ISSN 1467-9655
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 29
Issue 2
Pages 421-438
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9655.13921
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1191025

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Copyright Statement
© 2023 The Authors. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Royal Anthropological Institute.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work isproperly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.






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